Carroll: Rice to sit out Wednesday’s practice with sore foot

Paul Poliak

Head Coach Pete Carroll addressed the media this afternoon as part of his weekly Wednesday press conference ahead of this afternoon’s 2:00 p.m. practice and preparation for their Week 15 road matchup with the Buffalo Bills.

Coach Carroll was quick to recognize original season ticket holder Paul Poliak, age 92, who is on hand at Virginia Mason Athletic Center today as part of the Seahawks celebration of the 12th Man on December 12, 2012 (12.12.12), or #12Day. Poliak raised the 12th Man flag at the facility prior to today’s practice. Carroll transitioned to the announcement that the club will debut their all wolf grey jerseys this Sunday before getting into discussion of the week ahead.

Carroll made the point that this weekend’s game against the Bills, which will actually be played in Toronto, Ontario, Canada as part of the Bills Toronto series, is the final opportunity of the regular season for the club to go on the road and get a win.

“We need to see if we can carry some momentum into this last road opportunity,” he said. “It’s a big chore. We have tremendous respect for C.J. Spiller and their offense, he has really torn it up.”

Carroll noted that veteran linebacker Leroy Hill will return to practice on a regular load this week. Hill did not play in the team’s Week 14 58-0 win over the Arizona Cardinals, but was available if needed. In Hill’s place, second-year linebacker Malcolm Smith out of USC saw playing time, and played well.

“He can do everything,” Carroll said of Smith. ” He’s a well-rounded athlete, potentially he’s always had everything. This is the best he’s looked since I’ve known him.”

Carroll said Smith will split time with Hill during the week and that the competition is on at the position.

Carroll also noted that wide receiver Sidney Rice will not practice today while resting a sore foot. Carroll said the foot has been a bother most of the season, but flared up on Monday of this week. Rice’s status for Sunday’s game is unknown at this point.

On cornerback Marcus Trufant, Carroll said the veteran defensive back is still not ready to return from a hamstring strain and will not practice today.

Today’s practice marks the first Wednesday practice without pads, per the NFL Player Association rules on how many padded practices teams are allowed in a season.

Our Insiders Clare Farnsworth and Tony Ventrella will be back with more following today’s player availability and practice session. And in case you missed it, stay tuned to Seahawks.com for Carroll’s full video press conference.


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Monday in Hawkville: Dwelling on Week 14, rather than focusing on Week 15, would be a Cardinal sin

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Dec. 10:

Pete Carroll

FOCUS ON

The challenge of winning big, and losing big. The Seahawks are coming off their most lopsided victory in franchise history after Sunday’s 58-0 rout of the Cardinals at CenturyLink Field. But coach Pete Carroll also has been on the other end of lopsided games, like the 41-7 loss to the Giants in his first season as coach in 2010.

What’s the difference?

“It’s the same challenge,” Carroll said during his weekly day-after Q&A session with the media. “Each game, because of the dynamics of it, has a story to it; it’s got different issues that you deal with.”

The issue this week is enjoying a rare romp in the NFL, then putting it into perspective – as well as behind you – as the team prepares for this week’s game against the Bills in Toronto.

“I’ve tried to be consistent in telling you, I think it’s just as impactful when you lose as when you win – potentially, if you don’t handle it properly,” Carroll said. “So yeah, you’ve got to put it in perspective, you’ve got to put it behind you. There’s kind of a mechanism and a language and a routine that should kick us right back into this next week.

“At this time of year, we’re counting on that.”

An overcautious coach just being overcautious? No. Carroll had a point the day after his team scored all those points. Yes, the Bills are 5-8. Yes, this “home” game is being played in Canada. But the Seahawks already have lost on the road to the Cardinals, Rams, Lions and Dolphins – teams with a combined record of 19-32-1.

And don’t be talking to Carroll about anything beyond Sunday’s game at the Rogers Centre, either. Not the fact that one more win will give the 8-5 Seahawks their first winning record since 2007. Not the possibility of securing the top wild-card spot in the NFC playoffs, or challenging the 49ers for the division title – as they must play against the Patriots in New England next Sunday night before coming to Seattle for a Sunday night game on Dec. 23. The 49ers have a 1½ games lead over the Seahawks, so the math that matters is eighth grade Sewickley.

“All of that stuff doesn’t mean anything,” Carroll said. “We haven’t done anything yet. We haven’t accomplished a darn thing at this point.

“It’s still out there in front of us. So we just keep pushing all the storylines from behind to the back and keep moving forward. There’s a discipline to that, and I take a lot of pride in trying to make this work for us because we want to be consistently moving up all the time.”

The Seahawks have accomplished one thing. With their eighth victory, they already have their best record in three seasons under Carroll. But you tell him.

Malcolm Smith

PLAYER WATCH

Malcolm Smith. The second-year linebacker from USC had another strong outing against the Cardinals in his second game replacing sore-ankled veteran Leroy Hill on the weakside.

“He played well again,” Carroll said. “He did a nice job. He was really active, around the football a lot. This is the best I’ve seen Malcolm over the years. He’s the most confident that he’s been and he playing aggressively and tough and chasing really well.

“He’s kind of got a nose for the football. Things happen when he’s around it, that’s kind of always been the case.”

That was indeed the case on the muffed punt he recovered for a touchdown against the Cardinals. Returner Patrick Peterson, teammate Jeremy Lane and the Cardinals’ Rashad Johnson got a hand or foot on the ball before Smith snagged it as he was crossing the goal line.

Hill was active Sunday, but Carroll was hoping we would not have to play him to give the ankle another week to mend.

“We’re in good shape with either one of those guys playing right now,” Carroll said.

INJURY UPDATES

Safety Chris Maragos strained a muscle against the Cardinals, but Carroll said the injury is not considered serious.

Veteran nickel back Marcus Trufant has missed the past two games with a pulled hamstring. This is the week the coaches were expecting to get him back, but Carroll said that Trufant’s status remains wait-and-see.

49ERS GAME FLEXED TO PRIMETIME

Not surprisingly, the Seahawks’ Dec. 23 game against the 49ers has been moved into the Sunday night slot on NBC. The game was scheduled for a 1:25 p.m. kickoff on Fox, but now will start at 5:20. It replaces the Jets-Chargers game that was slated for primetime.

Asked about the switched, Carroll fained surprise and offered, “We’re going to play them this Sunday?”

His actual reaction is rooted in the same philosophy he discussed above. “What does that mean?” he said. “We’ll just stay in the hotel a little bit longer and then go play.”

STAT DU JOUR

The Seahawks are going international for the third time in franchise history with Sunday’s game in Toronto, but the first time during the regular season. The other two were American Bowl preseason games. Here’s a look at how those games went:

Year     Site                               Outcome

1990    Tokyo                           L, Broncos, 10-7

1998    Vancouver, B.C.         L, 49ers, 24-21

UP NEXT

Carroll gave the players today off as a “Victory Monday,” and they’ll have their usual “off” day on Tuesday. They will return on Wednesday to begin practicing for Sunday’s game against the Bills.

Nose tackle Brandon Mebane will sign autographs from 6-7 p.m. on Tuesday at the CenturyLink Field Pro Shop. Click here for a look at what Mebane has been up to this season.

YOU DON’T SAY

“For Defensive Rookie (of the Year), three linebackers stepped in from day one and became tackling machines – Carolina’s Luke Kuechly, Seattle’s Bobby Wagner and Tampa Bay’s Lavonte David. Cornerback Casey Hayward of the Packers has been a star from about Week 4. Linemen Chandler Jones of New England (outside) and Derek Wolfe of Denver (inside) have provided consistent pressure since Week 1. Safety Harrison Smith of Minnesota is already one of the most instinctive safeties in the league. For now, for the wins and the leadership and filling a gaping hole, I’ll take Wagner of the Seahawks.” – Peter King in his “Monday Morning Quarterback” at SI.com


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Game at a glance: Seahawks 58, Cardinals 0

A recap of the Seahawks’ 58-0 victory over the Arizona Cardinals at CenturyLink Field on Sunday:

Chris Clemons

PLAYERS OF THE GAME

The entire Seahawks team. With a franchise-record 58 points, there was one for each of the 46 players who were active – with bonus points for leading rusher Marshawn Lynch (three touchdowns), cornerback Richard Sherman (two interceptions and a fumble recovery) and rookie middle linebacker Bobby Wagner (two interceptions and a team-high eight tackles).

“This was the true definition of a team victory,” is the way second-year linebacker Mike Morgan summed it up.

We obviously agree, in part because it would be too difficult to select Sherman over Lynch; Lynch over Wagner; Wagner over Sherman. All are deserving, but so are so many others because of the way the Seahawks won this game to up their overall record to 8-5 and their record at CenturyLink Field to 6-0.

“It’s a reward for all of the hard work,” coach Pete Carroll said after the Seahawks secured one more win than they had in their first two season under him – and look like a shoo-in to post the franchise’s first winning record since going 10-6 in 2007.

“You work so hard, and so often the games don’t afford you that opportunity. For everybody to play, everybody to contribute, so many guys can get on the stats sheets and all that stuff – and contribute – it’s really very positive.”

Marshawn Lynch

PLAYS OF THE GAME

Offense: The last, and longest, of Lynch’s three touchdown runs. It came on a third-and-4 play early in the second half. It covered 33 yards. It allowed him to tie his career-best for TDs in a game. It was the last of his three carries in the seven-play, 86-yard drive, when he gained 59 of his 128 yards. It was his last carry of the game, and put him at 1,266 for the season – surpassing his single-season rushing best from last year (1,204).

“Marshawn broke a personal record or something today, which is great,” Carroll said.

Defense: Sherman’s first interception, which he returned 19 yards for the Seahawks’ first defensive touchdown of the season. Cardinals QB John Skelton was going to Pro Bowl wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald, but instead found Sherman.

“I got my head around and they threw a quick fade,” Sherman said. “Skelton threw the ball with a little lower trajectory. I think he was trying to throw a back-shoulder fade and I happened to get a foot in the ground. Once I got my hands on it, Earl (Thomas, the free safety) did a great job of blocking and then it was just full speed.”

Said Skelton, “It’s a tight window, that is really the one place to go with the ball. I could have helped Larry by putting the ball into his chest. (Sherman) was coming inside, so if I led him he gets hit. It’s a play Larry usually makes. We expect him to make it. But it’s not an excuse for me.”

Special teams: Malcolm Smith’s TD play, which went down as a fumble recovery in the end zone, but actually was a midair pick of a muffed punt by the Cardinals’ Patrick Peterson. Peterson couldn’t handle the ball, which hit the foot of rookie cornerback Jeremy Lane. That’s when Smith snagged the ball for the score.

“I don’t know how I ended up with the ball,” Smith said. “I know the ball was flipping around. Jeremy Lane tipped it up. It tipped off of someone’s hand. And then there was like three of us going for it. It was like a jump ball and I tipped it my way caught it. I guess I was in the end zone.”

Peterson later fumbled a punt return, and the Seahawks had a feeling they’d be able to separate him from the ball.

“We knew that Patrick Peterson was going to give us one, he’s been trying to force a lot of plays,” Morgan said. “It was just one of those things where the ball muffed out. It was big time.”

INJURY REPORT

Lynch left the game in the first half with what was called a back injury. But he not only returned, he ran for that 33-yard TD on the seventh play of the second half.

Veteran linebacker Leroy Hill was active after missing last week’s game because of a sprained ankle, but Smith started on the weakside and finished with three tackles as well as the touchdown on the recovery of the muffed punt in the second quarter.

“He was ready to play,” Carroll said of Hill. “He had a good workout before (the game), so we dressed him in case we needed him. But we would rather hold him, if we could. I don’t know how Malcolm did, but I think he did pretty well again. He looked like he was active.”

WORTH NOTING

The 58 points scored by the Seahawks were the most in franchise history and only the third time they’ve scored more than 50. They had 56 against the Bills in 1977 and 51 against the Chiefs in overtime in 1983.

The 58-0 score also is the largest margin of victory in franchise history, topping 45-0 against the Chiefs in 1984 and 42-0 against the Eagles in 2005.

The Seahawks’ six takeaways in the first half was a franchise record and their eight for the game ties for second-most behind the 10 they had against the Browns in 1981.

With Lynch rushing for 128 yards and rookie Robert Turbin adding 108, the Seahawks had two 100-yard rushers in a game for the first time since 2005 – when Shaun Alexander (141) and Maurice Morris (104) did it against the Texans.

The Seahawks’ 284 rushing yards were the fourth-highest total in franchise history. They had 320 in that 2005 game against the Texans; 319 in a 2001 game against the Raiders; and 298 in a 1986 game against the Broncos.

Lynch’s 100-yard effort was his seventh of the season, one more than his previous high from last season.

With his 128 yards coming on only 11 carries, Lynch also set a franchise record for rushing average (11.6). The previous record was held by Sherman Smith, who now coaches the team’s running backs. He averaged 8.9 yards in a game against the Falcons in 1976.

With his 20th TD pass of the season, Russell Wilson tied the mark for third-most by a rookie QB. Peyton Manning had 26 and Cam Newton 21. Andy Dalton and Dan Marino also threw 20. And Wilson has three games left.

Wilson’s second-quarter interception was his first at home this season.

Tight end Anthony McCoy not only surpassed 100 receiving yards for the first time in his three-year career, his three-catch, 105-yard day was the first 100-yard outing by a Seahawks receiver this season. He also became the fourth tight end in franchise history to surpass 100 receiving yards – joining Charle Young (140 in 1983), Itula Mili (119 in 2002) and John Carlson (105 in 2008).

The Seahawks passed the ball only 22 times – 7 of 13 by Wilson and 5 of 9 by Matt Flynn, who saw his first action of the season.

The Seahawks were penalized 10 times for 97 yards. “It was crazy stuff that happened,” Carroll said. “Other than that, that was really the only thing that we didn’t get done today.”

 YOU DON’T SAY

“My feelings were hurt, he hit me so hard.” – wide receiver Sidney Rice, who took a vicious shot from safety Rashad Johnson in the fourth quarter but held on and got up to spin the ball for emphasis.


Friday cyber surfing: Wilson ’12 times more prepared’ for second matchup with Arizona

Russell Wilson

Good morning, and here’s what’s “out there” about the Seahawks for today, December 7.

Danny O’Neil of the Seattle Times has his report from Thursday’s practice, noting that safety Kam Chancellor did not participate while resting a groin injury. In an interview with KIRO Radio’s Seattle Morning News earlier today, head coach Pete Carroll said Chancellor would sit out practice again today, but said he should be able to play on Sunday.

Larry Stone of the Seattle Times writes that rookie quarterback Russell Wilson has won over his veteran teammates, “If there was any remaining doubt that Wilson had earned the complete confidence of even the most cynical Seahawks veterans, hearing their raves after he engineered Sunday’s overtime victory in Chicago likely erased that. That’s what happens when, as Sidney Rice said Wednesday, ‘With the pressure on, he’s never failed us. He’s brought us to the table every single time.’ Rice, in fact, says he sometimes forgets that Wilson is a rookie. ‘He doesn’t carry himself like a rookie,’ he said. ‘He’s never shown a sign of being scared.’ Added guard John Moffitt: ‘I think he’s just playing good football. What you do on the field is how you get respect.’ “

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune recaps a Thursday media session with the rookie Wilson, “So is revenge on Wilson’s mind as he faces the Cardinals for a second time? C’mon, this is Russell Wilson we’re talking about here. ‘I try to let everything go,’ Wilson said. ‘You have to learn from your lessons. You have to learn from the games – positive and negative. And write them down, and figure out how they can help you in the long run. I think that first game helped me improve, and helped me win some games at the end of games throughout the course of the season so far. I try to learn from those lessons, but at the same time, I don’t look at it as revenge or anything like that. It’s just another opportunity for us.’ “

Williams also highlights the play of rookie linebacker Bobby Wagner, “In 12 games, Wagner has already reached the century mark for tackles, joining an exclusive list that includes such franchise standouts as linebackers Keith Butler and Lofa Tatupu, and safety Kenny Easley. And with four games to go, Wagner has a chance to surpass those names as Seattle’s leading rookie tackler. Wagner tops the Seahawks with 100 tackles, just 35 short of the record of 136 set by Terry Beeson in his rookie season in 1977. ‘He’s a first-year guy, but he acts and plays like a fourth-year guy,’ [Seahawks linebackers coach Ken] Norton said. ‘He sees the field well, and he has really good instincts. That’s what really sets him apart – he can kind of feel things happen before they happen. He’s kind of a gym-rat kind of a kid. He wants to be good. And he’s willing to make the sacrifices that it takes. So when you know that about a guy, you’re not surprised he’s doing well at all.’ “

John Boyle of the Everett Herald says the Seahawks ought not overlook the Arizona Cardinals – a team that has lost eight consecutive games, “Nobody should look at the Cardinals eight-game losing streak and assume that it will be easy sledding for the Seahawks on Sunday. Four of the losses during their current streak have been by seven points or less, and while the offense has varied from inconsistent to just plain bad, the defense has remained strong despite getting no help. The Cardinals rank dead last in total offense and scoring, 31st in rushing offense and 27th in passing offense, but their defense continues to play well, ranking seventh in total defense and scoring defense, third in passing defense and fourth in takeaways with 27. ‘Even though they’re not doing so well the last few games, that doesn’t show up on the defensive side of the ball,’ receiver Sidney Rice said. ‘… They’re just getting better. We’ve got to be on our jobs on Sunday.’ “

Boyle also has reaction from Wilson on facing the Cardinals for a second time, “Wilson, as well as Seattle’s offensive line, are much better prepared to handle the likes of Darnell Dockett than they were three months ago, but they will still have their hands full. The challenge of facing Arizona’s defense, and of facing a team for the second time, is one Wilson is embracing this week. ‘I’m definitely looking forward to it,’ he said. ‘It’s a new challenge that I’m looking forward to for sure. The first time out, I wish I could have done something to win that game there at Arizona. Now it’s the second go around at it, so you have to figure out what you did well, what you didn’t do so well, figure out what they did really well, and figure out how we can attack them. I think I’m 12 times more prepared. I just feel so much more confident out there, understanding what they’re trying to do. And just getting used to the speed of the game, playing live games really helps.’ “

Steve Rudman of SportsPressNW.com has a look back at Wilson’s performance against the Chicago Bears in Week 13, “It did not go unreported that, largely due to Wilson, Seattle defeated Chicago for the third consecutive year at Soldier Field. But this nugget failed to make the final stat sheet: the Seahawks are the first interdivision opponent ever to beat the Bears in Chicago in three consecutive seasons. Some notable quarterbacks have taken whacks at that, including Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers. Wilson, named the NFC’s Offensive Player of the Week Wednesday, emerged from Seattle’s 23-17 victory with a 104.9 passer rating, his fourth consecutive game with a rating above 100.0. Since the first of November, a span that includes five games for some quarterbacks, four for others, Wilson’s passer rating is 120.3 (127.3 vs. Minnesota, 131.0 vs. New York Jets, 125.9 at Miami, 104.9 at Chicago). That leads the NFL by a tick over Washington’s Robert Griffin III’s 119.8.”

John McMullen of The Sports Network previews Sunday’s matchup against the Arizona Cardinals, “The Cards haven’t won since September and Wilson is 5-0 at home with 11 touchdowns and no interceptions. You do the math. ‘He’s just so beautifully poised and so confident that it gives himself a chance to play at this level,’ Carroll said of his young quarterback. ‘It’s just surprising that anybody could be like that, not just a rookie or a young guy. He just continues to be impressive in all of those ways.’ Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Seahawks 21, Cardinals 10.”

Mike Sando of ESPN.com says how Wilson operates against the Cardinals’ pass rush will be a key component to watch on Sunday, “Wilson and the Seattle offense have grown, no question. But they also haven’t faced many defenses as strong as Arizona’s has been against the pass. The Cardinals emerged from Week 13 having sent five or more pass-rushers 40.9 percent of the time, the fourth-highest rate in the NFL this season. The percentage was 51.2 against Seattle in the first meeting. ‘As football players, you know who’s talented and who could really play because you have played them once before, but also you have seen them on film that we watch every day,’ Wilson told reporters this week. ‘When you turn on the film, you realize how well they move around, and how aggressive they are, how much pressure they bring and the great things that they do on defense.’ “

Sando details the Seahawks’ use of the read-option, “Mobile quarterbacks have increasingly used read-option plays in the NFL, but Seattle had only dabbled in the tactic before Sunday, as the first chart shows. John McTigue of ESPN Stats & Information did the work on this one. ‘Basically, the Seahawks used more option runs in the fourth quarter and overtime Sunday than they had the rest of the season combined,’ he noted. ‘This may have really set up the play-action passing game for Wilson. If you watch the final play again, it was a play action that looked just like a zone read option.’ “

Sando also believes the Seahawks’ Week 16 game against the San Francisco 49ers is a strong candidate to get flexed into NBC’s prime time Sunday night game.

Les Carpenter of YahooSports.com describes Wilson’s devotion to the game, “The same way he pushed himself into the starting role and rookie of the year talk, Wilson has shoved the Seahawks into the playoff picture. And when the Chicago game was over and Seattle was suddenly seen as a real contender, he went into the locker room at Soldier Field and cut loose like never before. ‘You know, you may scream and shout a little bit,’ he said. Just a little. ‘Ah come on he knows how to have fun,’ Wilson’s roommate on the road, Robert Turbin said. ‘If you have six or seven hours of free time you’re not going to spend the whole time watching film.’ Then Turbin paused. ‘He does watch a lot of film, though.’ “

Here at Seahawks.com Clare Farnsworth has his feature on Wilson’s ability to remain cool, calm and collected on the field, and has his recap of “Thursday in Hawkville” with a focus on second-year linebacker Malcolm Smith, who stepped in and played well for the veteran Leroy Hill a week ago in Chicago.

Tony Ventrella has his “Seahawks Daily” as the club turns their focus toward the Cardinals, and Wilson readies to face a team for twice for the first time in his young career.

We have Wilson’s full video press conference and defensive coordinator Gus Bradley’s full video press conference from yesterday.

Lastly, our team photographer Rod Mar updated his Week 14 photo gallery at practice with several frames from “Turnover Thursday.”


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Thursday in Hawkville: Smith ready to step in again, if needed

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Dec. 6:

Malcolm Smith

FOCUS ON

Malcolm Smith. When veteran weakside linebacker Leroy Hill could not play against the Bears in Chicago on Sunday because of a sprained ankle, Smith stepped in and played what coach Pete Carroll labeled “a terrific game.”

Hill is practicing on a limited basis this week, as the Seahawks prepare for Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals at CenturyLink Field, so Smith continues to get a lot of work.

“You’re always waiting for the opportunity to show what you can do,” said Smith, a seventh-round draft choice in 2011 who tied for second on the club in special teams tackles as a rookie but saw limited action on defense.

“I prepare like a starter and want to play, so when the opportunity comes you just do it.”

Smith had two tackles against the Bears, but the one that stood out was when he ran Matt Forte down from behind for a 2-yard loss. He also stopped fullback Evan Rodriguez for no gain on a pass play. Each play showcased Smith’s speed.

“We’ve become faster with him on the field,” defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said.

Getting all the reps with the No. 1 defense in practice last week also helped Smith answer the challenge on Sunday.

“Definitely practice reps help a lot,” he said. “But you’ve still got to capitalize.”

Which Smith definitely did against the Bears, and plans to do this week if he’s needed against the Cardinals.

“When Leroy couldn’t play, we could have been lamenting, ‘Oh gosh, we’re going to lose an experienced player.’ And we hate to miss him,” Carroll said. “But Malcolm just did a remarkable job of making plays and doing his assignments and playing hard. That’s what you hope happens.”

OPPONENT WATCH

Larry Fitzgerald. The Seahawks began their season facing the six-time Pro Bowl wide receiver in their opener against the Cardinals in Arizona. Since then, they’ve also gone against the Lions’ Calvin Johnson, Patriots’ Wes Welker, Cowboys’ Miles Austin, Packers’ Greg Jennings, Rams’ Danny Amendola, Panthers’ Steve Smith, Vikings’ Percy Harvin and Bears’ Brandon Marshall with varying degrees of success.

Where does Fitzgerald rank in this show of good hands?

“He’s right up there, there’s no doubt,” Bradley said. “He’s hurt us in the past.”

Like in last year’s season finale, when Fitzgerald “kind of took over the game,” as Bradley put it, with eight catches for 148 yards in the second half after the Seahawks had held him to one catch for 1 yard in the first half.

“He made some great catches,” Bradley said. “You go back and look at tape over the last couple of years and see some of the catches he’s made, and on extra-effort plays. We put together a tape on just how to tackle him because he’s so good in open space.

“He’s something to deal with.”

The Cardinals are making him more difficult to deal with by moving Fitzgerald around. While he used to lineup primarily as the split end, he’ll now be at flanker, in the slot and even in the backfield on any given snap.

“We have to have great awareness of where he is on the field,” Bradley said. “It’s just better overall awareness of the style of receiver he is, the routes that he likes to do.”

PRACTICE SQUAD ADDITION

Chandler Fenner, a 6-foot-1, 189-pound defensive back, has been added to the practice squad. A rookie free agent from Holy Cross, he signed with the Chiefs after the NFL Draft and was released in August. Fenner fills the spot that opened when defensive back DeShawn Shead was added to the 53-man roster on Wednesday.

INJURY REPORT

The official report, as issued by the team:

Did not practice

DE Red Bryant (foot)

SS Kam Chancellor (groin)

CB Marcus Trufant (hamstring)

Limited in practice

LB Leroy Hill (ankle)

C Max Unger (hip)

Full participation

RB Marshawn Lynch (back)

WR Sidney Rice (head)

With Chancellor sitting out, Jeron Johnson was at strong safety with the No. 1 defense. As they did in Wednesday’s practice, Jason Jones stepped in for Bryant and Smith worked for Hill in the drills the veteran linebacker did not participate in.

For the Cardinals:

Did not practice

WR Andre Roberts (ankle)

DE Ronald Talley (ankle)

Limited in practice

DE Calais Campbell (calf)

QB Kevin Kolb (ribs)

CB Greg Toler (hamstring)

RB Chris Wells (knee)

Full participation

CB Justin Bethel (shoulder)

WR Early Doucet (ribs)

LS Mike Leach (back)

LB Paris Lenon (shoulder)

S Kerry Rhodes (quadriceps)

LB Reggie Walker (knee)

STAT DU JOUR

We’re flat-out lifting this one from ESPN.com NFC West blogger Mike Sando, who compares the performances of the Seahawks’ Russell Wilson and the Colts’ Andrew Luck against seven common opponents this season – the Bears, Vikings, Packers, Dolphins, Patriots, Lions and Jets. We think you’ll agree that this look at the rookie QBs is worth repeating:

Category           Luck        Wilson

Record               4-3            5-2

Attempts          327            190

Completions    177            123

Comp. pct.       54.1           64.7

Pass yards      2,333        1,537

TD passes           13              16

Interceptions     12                1

Passer rating   74.9       115.6

Rushes                18             39

Rush yards         95           214

Rushing TD           1               0

First downs           8            15

UP NEXT

“Turnover Thursday” gives way to “No Repeat Friday” as the players will have their final full practice before Sunday’s game against the Cardinals.

The Seahawks are holding their annual Toys for Tots drive at Sunday’s game and asking fans to donate new, unwrapped toys that will be distributed to children for Christmas as part of the nationwide event sponsored by the Marine Corps.

YOU DON’T SAY

“The challenge is we’re playing a great team. Arizona’s record doesn’t show how great their defense is. They make a lot of the plays. They do a lot of things on defense. They’re very experienced. So we’re going to have to play our best game.” – Wilson, pooh-poohing any thought that the Seahawks might overlook a Cardinals team that has lost eight in a row after starting 4-0


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Carroll: With Browner out, Thurmond steps in

Walter Thurmond

Walter Thurmond

Head Coach Pete Carroll addressed the media this afternoon as part of his weekly Wednesday press conference ahead of this afternoon’s 2:00 p.m. practice and preparation for their Week 14 home matchup against the Arizona Cardinals.

With the four-game suspension announced for cornerback Brandon Browner for violating the League’s policy on performance enhancing substances, Carroll addressed the club’s situation at cornerback, starting with a reiteration of roster moves that the team announced earlier in the day.

In Browner’s place, Carroll said third-year cornerback Walter Thurmond will get the first chance to start. Thurmond was active for the first time this season in the Seahawks’ Week 13 road win over the Chicago Bears, working as the club’s nickel corner in place of the injured Marcus Trufant, who was inactive while rehabbing a hamstring injury.

On Trufant, Carroll said he will continue to rest his hamstring and they will find out more on his status at the end of the week. So with Thurmond sliding over to one of the starting cornerback spots and Trufant’s status uncertain for Week 14, Carroll said rookie cornerback Jeremy Lane will get the first crack as the club’s nickel corner. Lane has impressed this season, successfully downing punts and securing good field position in the “gunner” role on special teams.

Carroll said that second-year cornerbacks Byron Maxwell and Ron Parker, who was recently signed to the active roster from the Carolina Panthers’ practice squad, and rookie cornerback DeShawn Shead, who was recently promoted from the club’s practice squad to the active roster, will be in competition for work as the team’s fourth cornerback.

Carroll discussed the move of offensive guard James Carpenter to the reserve/non-football illness list, emphasizing that the former first round draft pick will be fine in the long haul, but with lingering injuries to his knee and having suffered a concussion this year they decided to end his season. Carroll said that no surgery would be required on Carpenter’s knee.

Carroll said wide receiver Sidney Rice passed concussion evaluations and has been cleared to practice today, but will be limited.

“We’re counting on him playing,” Carroll said of Rice.

Linebacker Leroy Hill will also be limited today with an ankle injury. Carroll mentioned that second-year linebacker Malcolm Smith, who played well in place of Hill last Sunday in Chicago, has a chance to challenge Hill for the starting job.

“It’s a beautiful thing,” Carroll said of the competition between Hill and Smith.

Carroll said that defensive end Red Bryant will not practice today, insisting that he needs another day of rest for a plantar fasciitis (foot) injury.

Our Insiders Clare Farnsworth and Tony Ventrella will be back with more following today’s player availability and practice session. And in case you missed it, stay tuned to Seahawks.com for Carroll’s full video press conference.


Game at a glance: Seahawks 23, Bears 17 OT

Russell Wilson

CHICAGO – A recap of the Seahawks’ 23-17 overtime victory against the Bears at Soldier Field on Sunday:

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Russell Wilson. How to describe what the Seahawks’ rookie quarterback did against the Bears’ No. 3-ranked defense. Coach Pete Carroll used the work “exquisite,” and that definitely works.

Wilson completed 23 of 37 passes for 293 yards and also ran for 71 yards. But it wasn’t so much what he did as when he did it. Wilson directed a 12-play, 97-yard touchdown drive that was capped by his 14-yard TD pass to Golden Tate with 24 seconds left in regulation. He then led a 12-play, 80-yard touchdown drive in overtime that ended with his 13-yard TD pass to Sidney Rice.

Wow, and double-wow. The passing yards were a season-best for Wilson, as were the rushing yards, and the 97-yard drive was the Seahawks’ longest of the year.

As good as Wilson had been in the past three games, he just seems to be getting better – and making his biggest plays at the most opportune times.

“Russell definitely doesn’t play like a rookie,” Rice said. “A lot of the wins that we’ve got are because of Russell. He’s able to get out of the pocket, scramble to make things happen. We’re glad to have him on the team.”

Added Tate, “Russell does everything perfect. I almost think he’s a perfect person, I really do.”

Wilson wasn’t exactly perfect on this day, but what he did on those last two touchdown drives was exactly what his team needed.

PLAYS OF THE GAME

Offense: The game-winning TD pass from Wilson to Rice, of course. It was a pass play the Seahawks setup with their effective use of the read-option running plays, as Rice duped cornerback Charles Tillman into thinking he was a blocker on the play.

“I came off the ball and made Tillman stop his feet, like I was going to block him,” Rice said. “As soon as he looked inside, I just beat him across the field, threw my hand up in front of me, Russ saw me, touchdown.”

But not without a little pain, and drama. Just as Rice was crossing the goal line, he took a shot to the head from safety Major Wright and lost the ball. The play was reviewed before the Seahawks had their game-winner.

Defense: The Bears were leading 7-0 and had driven from their 12-yard line to the Seahawks’ 15 early in the second quarter. On fourth-and-1, running back Michael Bush leaped over the middle of the line. But instead of getting the needed yard, he ran into middle linebacker Bobby Wagner and was stopped for no gain.

Special teams: Jon Ryan and Jeremy Lane were at it again. On the series following Wagner’s big fourth-down stop, the Seahawks were stopped. But Ryan lofted a 44-yard punt that Lane caught at the Bears’ 5-yard line.

INJURY REPORT

Left guard James Carpenter reinjured the surgically repaired knee that forced him to miss the final seven games of his rookie season in the first half and did not return. He was replaced by John Moffitt, who helped the Seahawks rush for 176 yards.

“Something happened in his knee,” Carroll said. “So we protected him.”

The Seahawks also played without veteran linebacker Leroy Hill and veteran nickel back Marcus Trufant. Both were among the players named inactive, Hill because of the ankle he sprained in last week’s game against the Dolphins and Trufant because a hamstring began bothering him at the end of Thursday’s practice.

Malcolm Smith started for Hill and had two tackles. Walter Thurmond stepped in for Trufant, in his first action of the season after being activated off the physically-unable-to-perform list last month.

WORTH NOTING

With 87 rushing yards, Marshawn Lynch had more yards against the Bears on Sunday than in his games at Soldier Field the past two seasons combined (85). He also scored his fourth touchdown in those three games, all Seahawk victories.

Rice (six for 99) and Tate (five for 96) just missed giving the Seahawks their first game with two 100-yard receivers since Rice (seven for 102) and Ben Obomanu (four for 107) did it against the Bengals last October.

Despite facing the Bears’ No. 3-ranked defense, the Seahawks compiled a season-high 459 yards. They also had 176 rushing yards, their fourth-highest total of the season; and 25 first downs, their second-highest total. Their three TD drives covered 94, 97 and 80 yards.

Wagner had a game-high 11 tackles, including the Seahawks’ only sack.

For the second consecutive game, Ryan’s average and net average on five punts were the same (39.6 yards). He also had three inside the 20-yard line.

With their seventh victory in their 12th game, the Seahawks have matched their win total from each of Carroll’s first two seasons.

The Bears’ Brandon Marshall had 10 catches for 165 yards, making him the fourth receiver to surpass 100 receiving yards against the Seahawks this season.

YOU DON’T SAY

“The last drive in regulation, the 97-yarder in 12 plays, was just exquisite execution by the quarterback.” – coach Pete Carroll


Friday in Hawkville: Trufant doubtful with hamstring issue

A recap of the activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Nov. 30:

FOCUS ON

Marcus Trufant

Marcus Trufant’s sore hamstring. Add the Seahawks’ nickel back to the list of injury concerns as the team makes its final preparations for Sunday’s game against the Bears in Chicago.

“At the end of practice yesterday, Marcus felt (something in) his hamstring,” coach Pete Carroll said after today’s practice. “He’s got an issue there that we’re going to have to deal with. We put him down as doubtful. We’re real surprised that popped up. It’s going to be hard for him to get back from that.”

With Trufant out, Walter Thurmond worked as the nickel back and likely will play in his first game of the season against the Bears.

Defensive end Red Bryant (foot) and linebacker Leroy Hill (ankle) sat out practice for the third consecutive day and Carroll said their status won’t be determined until Sunday.

“Red did not do much today,” Carroll said. “We’re going to take him all the way up to game time. He’s dying to play.”

On Hill, Carroll said, “Leroy ran and changed direction, did all that kind of stuff; had a legitimate workout today. We’ll check him out tomorrow and, again, take it all the way up to game day and see how that goes.”

GONE WITH THE WIND

The players practiced outside, in windy conditions and cool weather – exactly what they’re expecting on Sunday.

“We got a great day today,” Carroll said. “I would hope that this is pretty close to what we’re going to get. It was probably in the 50s and a good windy day here. We made good use of it.”

COMPARISON SHOPPING

During last week’s game against the Dolphins, the Fox TV crew compared Russell Wilson to Fran Tarkenton, the make-plays-on-the-move, nine-time Pro Bowl QB during two stints with the Vikings (1961-66, 1972-78) and one with the Giants (1967-71).

Before being asked about the comparison, the Seahawks rookie QB was asked if he even knew who Tarkenton was.

“Of course I do,” Wilson said. “I’ve watched old clips of Fran Tarkenton play, so that’s definitely a compliment. But at the same time, I’m just trying to be Russell Wilson and just play the game the way that I think it should be played by getting the ball out and just continue to strive for greatness.

“That’s the way I always look at it, and to be compared to Fran Tarkenton is definitely a compliment for sure.”

INJURY REPORT

The official end-of-the-week status report, as issued by the team:

Doubtful

CB Marcus Trufant (hamstring)

Questionable

DE Red Bryant (foot)

LB Leroy Hill (ankle)

WR Sidney Rice (calf)

Probable

RB Marshawn Lynch (back)

DE Greg Scruggs (oblique)

Malcolm Smith and Jason Jones continued to replace Hill and Bryant with the No. 1 defense. Rice, the team’s leading receiver, sat out the end of practice after feeling a twinge in his calf.

For the Bears:

Out

WR/KR Devin Hester (concussion)

OG Chris Spencer (knee)

Doubtful

WR Alshon Jeffery (knee)

Probable

LB Lance Briggs (ankle)

RB Matt Forte (ankle)

TE Kellen Davis (ankle)

CB Charles Tillman (ankle)

DT Stephan Paea (shoulder)

OG Edwin Williams (shoulder)

STAT DU JOUR

Field position is crucial in every game, but Sunday it will start with the opening kickoff – and every kickoff that follows. That’s because the Seahawks and Bears are among the best in the league is averaging starting position receiving kickoffs, and also covering them. Here’s a look at where they rank in both categories:

Receiving team

Team                                Avg. start

Bears                                    25.9

Vikings                                 25.1

Ravens                                 24.9

Seahawks                            24.8

Dolphins                              24.2

Kicking team

Team                              Avg. start

Bears                                    19.8

Browns                                 19.8

Saints                                    20.1

Ravens                                  20.2

Seahawks                             20.4

Chargers                               20.4

UP NEXT

The team flew to Chicago after a midday practice on “No Repeat Friday,” and the weekly Saturday walkthrough will be held at a local high school.

Following Sunday’s game, the last quarter of the Seahawks’ season includes three home games against the other teams in the NFC West – the Cardinals (Dec. 9), 49ers (Dec. 23) and Rams (Dec. 30).

YOU DON’T SAY

“We’re fired up for this matchup. It’s hugely important, as these road games continue to be for us. We’re going to see if we can turn this thing and get something done on the road before we come on back home. So this is a big deal.” – Carroll


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Game at a glance: Seahawks 30, Vikings 20

A recap of the Seahawks’ 30-20 victory over the Vikings at CenturyLink Field on Sunday:

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Russell Wilson. With all due to respect to Adrian Peterson, who ran for 182 yards, Wilson wins this one 3-2 – as in touchdown passes to rushing touchdowns.

Every time Peterson scored – on 1- and 4-yard runs in the first half – Wilson answered. The Seahawks’ rookie quarterback threw TD passes of 6 yards to Golden Tate and 11 yards to Sidney Rice in the first quarter, after Peterson scored his 1-yarder. After Peterson’s 4-yarder pulled the Vikings even in the second quarter, Wilson gave the Seahawks the lead for good with his 11-yard TD pass to Tate with 44 seconds left in the first half.

“We talked about that during the week, being able to try and contain him,” Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said of Wilson. “That’s what happens when he scrambles, he is able to make some plays. He made some plays today when he scrambled out of the pocket.”

That Wilson did. He scrambled for 4 yards and also picked up a yard on keeper on a fourth-and-1 play in the 12-play, 80-yard drive to his third TD pass. In the third quarter, Wilson had back-to-back plays where he ran for 8 and 2 yards on the nine-play, 72-yard drive to a 3-yard TD run by Marshawn Lynch. As the Seahawks were running out the clock in the fourth quarter, Wilson scrambled for 13 yards.

But his bottom-line contributions were the three TD passes, giving him nine in four home games – with no interceptions.

“Russell played really well, did a great job of handling all the situations and the different players and the thing that we did,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “He fit us together nicely.”

And that makes it fitting for Wilson to get this honor, even on a day when Peterson ran wild in the first half.

PLAYS OF THE GAME

Offense: There was Peterson’s 74-yard run on the second play of the game, but cornerback Brandon Browner pulled him down a yard short of the goal line. So let’s go with the second TD pass from Wilson to Tate, as style points put it over the top. And speaking of over the top, that’s how Tate got the ball across the goal line – by going up and over Vikings cornerback Josh Robinson and then extending an arm.

“He made a spectacular play,” Wilson said. “He has a great desire to get into the end zone, which is pretty awesome. Luckily, the ball was across the line there before it got knocked out.”

Luckily, indeed. “I’m just glad we got the ball,” Tate said. “On the way back (to the sideline it was), ‘Congratulations.’ ‘Good job.’ ‘Make sure you’re on the ball.’ That’s one of the things we really stress in this organization – protect the ball. It’s all about the ball. Defense. Offense. Special teams. We always want to get the ball, or maintain possession of the ball. So that was very important. And I’m going to practice on a pad.”

Defense: While Browner had an interception with 5½ minutes to play to seal the deal, nickel back Marcus Trufant turned in a two-fer play when the Seahawks really needed it in the first quarter. The Vikings already had scored on the opening possession of the game, and then forced the Seahawks to punt. But on third-and-10, Trufant forced Percy Harvin to fumble and then recovered the ball. Three plays later, Wilson passed 6-yards to Tate for a game-tying TD.

“He made a nice cut, I was coming across the middle and just trying to make a tackle,” Trufant said. “I ended up getting my shoulder, hand or something on the ball. I saw it pop up and I was just trying to get on the ball before anybody else got to it.”

It was the kind of play that dominated the conversation during the week in the meetings rooms at Virginia Mason Athletic Center.

“All week, it’s been about getting the ball out,” Trufant said. “So you’ve got to take the practice plays and bring them to the field.”

Special teams: Steven Hauschka’s 40-yard field goal with 6½ minutes to play. Yes, Vikings’ rookie Blair Walsh kicked a 55-yarder. And yes, the Vikings’ Kevin Williams blocked Hauschka’s PAT after Wilson’s third TD pass. But Hauschka’s late kick gave the Seahawks a 10-point lead.

INJURY REPORT

Linebacker and leading tackler K.J. Wright went out in the first quarter with a concussion and did not return. He was replaced by second-year ’backer Malcolm Smith in the base defense and veteran ’backer Leroy Hill in the nickel defense.

Center Max Unger went out with a hand injury in the third quarter, but returned on the Seahawks’ next possession. Lemuel Jeanpierre stepped in for Unger on the final five plays of the drive that ended with Lynch’s TD run.

John Moffitt, who had missed the past five games with a knee injury, started at left guard because James Carpenter was ruled out for Sunday’s game on Saturday. Carroll said that Carpenter had not been feeling well all week, and they didn’t know if it was caused by him getting a flu shot on Monday or a concussion he got in last week’s game or Wednesday’s practice.

“It’s usual the way it came about,” Carroll said. “I’m glad we held him out. We’ll figure out what it is by next week and see where we stand.”

WORTH NOTING

The Seahawks held Harvin to 73 combined yards – 24 on four carries, 10 on two receptions and a 39-yard kickoff return. He had been averaging 159.3 in his triple-threat role.

The Seahawks have scored 24 and 30 points in back-to-back games, and 24, 24 and 30 in three of their past four games. The 30 points against the Vikings were a season high.

The Seahawks held the Vikings to 3 of 10 on third-down situations, after allowing their first eight opponents to convert 43.9 percent.

The Seahawks scored touchdowns on their first four red-zone possessions, and added a field goal on their fifth. In last week’s loss to the Lions in Detroit, they had two touchdowns and a field goal in three red-zone possessions.

Rookie middle linebacker Bobby Wagner had a team-high 10 tackles to take over the club lead from Wright. Wagner also had his second sack of the season.

Safety Jeron Johnson and rookie lineman Greg Scruggs also had sacks, while Hill and rookie rush-end Bruce Irvin each had half a sack.

Because they held the ball for more than 12 minutes in the fourth quarter and nine minutes in the third quarter, the Seahawks had a hefty advantage in time of possession – 36 minutes to 24 minutes. The Seahawks also ran 18 more plays than the Vikings with a season-high 71.

YOU DON’T SAY

“There were a couple of times I said to myself, ‘Nice move, nice cut or whatever.’ He does a great job of being physical, and that’s what I’m all about. So he has my utmost respect.” – Peterson on Lynch


Thursday in Hawkville: Carroll has a ‘lid’ on passing game right now

A recap of the day’s activities at Virginia Mason Athletic Center for Sept. 27:

FOCUS ON

No. 32. Not second-year safety Jeron Johnson, who wears that number. That’s also where the Seahawks’ passing offense ranks in the league after three games. When asked about it, coach Pete Carroll pointed the finger directly at himself.

“I really think this is me holding the lid on it right now,” Carroll said. “I’m overseeing all of that.”

The Seahawks don’t just rank last in passing offense, they are the only team in the league that is averaging more yards rushing (141.3) than passing (127.7).

“What’s more important to us is that we take care of the football,” Carroll said. “More than anything. I don’t care about the yards.”

In that phase, the Seahawks have turned the ball over only twice – on an interception by rookie QB Russell Wilson on the final play of the first half and his lost fumble on the first series of the second half, both in the season-opening loss to the Cardinals in Arizona. Only the unbeaten Falcons and Patriots have fewer turnovers that the Seahawks.

Third-down conversions? That’s another story. The Seahawks are converting 29.3 percent on the pivotal down, which is limiting their opportunities to get more plays and therefore their chances to generate more yards. Only the Buccaneers (.256) and Redskins (.275) are converting a lower percentage on third downs.

“The thing we’re concerned about, we’ve got to convert on third downs,” Carroll said. “We have to get better there.”

This lid-on situation would be no different if Matt Flynn was the quarterback, Carroll said, pointing out that Wilson has now started three games in the NFL compared to two for the Flynn – who was signed in free agency during the offseason after being the backup to Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay the past four seasons.

“We’re just trying to grow around the style of this football team that gives us a chance to be really physical and really tough and don’t give up anything,” Carroll said. “It’s really a product of me. So if you’re going to be mad at somebody, be mad at me.”

PLAYER WATCH

(AP Photo/Jon Ferrey)

Now it’s time for Johnson, who has stepped in as the third safety in the bandit sub package with the Seahawks defense. Rookie Winston Guy opened the season in the role, but Johnson has taken over the past two games.

“Jeron has been really disciplined for us,” defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said. “The whole defense really takes pride in doing their job and doing it right and execution. We gave Jeron a chance and he fit right into the mode. He’s very detailed and the guys really trust him back there.”

Johnson made plays while subbing for strong safety Kam Chancellor during the preseason, which earned him a look in the bandit.

“I think that’s a reflection of coach Carroll,” Bradley said. “Because he always pushes us: ‘Find the guys and then give them an opportunity. You’ll be surprised.’ We always thought that Jeron was a guy who shows up more on the game field than in practice. Sure enough, he had a great preseason. He kind of turned our head then. So we gave him an opportunity and he’s been really solid.”

OPPONENT WATCH

When Jeff Fisher took over as coach of the Rams this year, he wanted better play from his cornerbacks. So Cortland Finnegan, a Pro Bowl corner while with the Titans, was signed in free agency.

In three games for the Rams, Finnegan has three interceptions and also is third on the team with 19 tackles.

“I think he recognizes things, because he’s pretty experienced,” Wilson said. “He’s also aggressive. That’s the way he plays. You have to understand that and be smart with the football in terms of throwing the ball on him and making plays on him. You have to understand that he’s a great playmaker. We have a lot of respect for him.”

INJURY REPORT

The official report, as issued by the team:

Did not practice

OT Breno Giacomini (pectoral)

OG John Moffitt (knee)

LB Leroy Hill (calf)

DT Jason Jones (knee)

Limited participation

DT Greg Scruggs (wrist)

DT Jaye Howard (foot)

Full participation

WR Doug Baldwin (shoulder)

CB Byron Maxwell (hamstring)

With Giacomini and Moffitt still out, Frank Omiyale worked at right tackle and Paul McQuistan at right guard with the No. 1 line – with James Carpenter replacing McQuistan at left guard. With Hill out, Malcolm Smith not only stepped in at weakside linebacker, he stepped up – tipping and almost intercepting one pass and taking another from the grasp of tight end Anthony McCoy.

For the Rams:

Did not practice

RB Steven Jackson (groin)

OT Rodger Saffold (knee)

DT Matt Conrath (knee)

S Matt McDaniels (hamstring)

Limited participation

DT Michael Brockers (ankle)

OT Wayne Hunter (knee)

Full participation

DE Eugene Sims (illness)

PRACTICE SQUAD SHUFFLE

With Giacomini and Moffitt missing the past two days, rookie guard Rishaw Johnson was re-signed to the practice squad. He had been released last Friday.

Also signed was running back Lonyae Miller, who had been with the Cowboys (2010-2011) and Raiders (2011-2012).

To clear spots on the eight-man squad, linebacker Korey Toomer was placed on practice squad/injured and tight end Sean McGrath was released.

STAT DU JOUR

Marshawn Lynch continues to be the NFL’s leading rusher since Week 9 of last season. But who is chasing Lynch over the past 12 games? Here’s who:

Player, team                                   Att.    Yards    Avg.   TD

Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks       283    1,246     4.4     10

Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars     236    1,180     5.0       6

Ray Rice, Ravens                           222     1,143     5.1    10

Reggie Bush, Saints/Dolphins     191     1,053     5.5      6

UP NEXT

“Turnover Thursday” gives away to “No Repeat Friday,” as the players will have a midday practice. The team will leave for St. Louis on Saturday following a morning walkthrough.

YOU DON’T SAY

“Some people think he’s unique. I definitely do think he’s unique. That’s what makes him so good. He’s a little different in terms of that, which is a good thing.” – Wilson when asked about Lynch’s, well, unique personality


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